Enrollment is now open for the Mid-Iowa Planning Alliance for Community Development (MIPA), a newly formed organization that will exist to support its members starting April 1, 2022. This webpage seeks to provide all the relevant information for eligible jurisdictions considering MIPA membership.
The Mid-Iowa region, consisting of Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Marion, Polk, Story and Warren Counties, is the only region in Iowa without an Economic Development District (EDD). An EDD is two things:
- A designation that is given by the U.S. Economic Development Administration to regions that have experienced economic distress, providing benefits such as increased funding opportunities;
- An associated entity, or EDD Organization, which serves the jurisdictions within the EDD region.
Mid-Iowa is now eligible to receive an EDD designation for the first time since the floods of 2008, due to the detrimental economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the derecho of 2020.
MIPA was formed in 2021 by a group of city and county staff members, economic development professionals, and other stakeholders in the region, with the goal of having Mid-Iowa designated as an EDD and MIPA as the supporting EDD organization. The process has been managed by staff of the Des Moines Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), who will remain involved going forward.
The region’s application for EDD designation is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. While not guaranteed, the designation is anticipated to be received in early 2022 and MIPA is projected to be operational will full-time staff by April 1, 2022.
MIPA will provide its members with professional planning and technical assistance, as well as seek out state and federal funding opportunities for local projects. As a support organization, MIPA also offers its members assistance in the writing and administration of grants, among other things. In summary, the core benefits and services of being as MIPA member include:
- Grant writing & administration
- Regional planning, i.e. Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
- Membership support, e.g., technical assistance, map-making, local planning
- Option to contract with MIPA for local planning, such as comprehensive plans, zoning updates, or urban renewal plans
Furthermore, member governments can add their proposed projects to a project list in the Mid-Iowa Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS). While being on the list doesn’t guarantee any funding, it tells potential funders that these projects are part of a larger strategy to advance regional goals, thereby making the grant applications more competitive.
MIPA membership is available to city and county governments in the Mid-Iowa region, which encompasses all of Boone, Dallas, Jasper, Marion, Polk, Story and Warren counties. This includes 89 incorporated cities, plus the seven county governments.
Member governments will be the primary beneficiaries of MIPA — but not the only ones. There are also numerous partner organizations that work alongside cities and counties to advance the region’s goals, such as economic development organizations, chambers of commerce, affiliated government organizations, non-profits, etc. These entities will be involved in MIPA’s planning processes, and they can also work with MIPA staff on grant opportunities, for example, if they have the support of an affiliated government that is a MIPA member.
Funding and DUES
MIPA will leverage federal grant dollars to help pay for its staffing costs. Once the region is designated as an Economic Development District (EDD), MIPA will be eligible for grant funding of $70,000 annually for staffing. Called the Partnership Program, this grant requires 1-to-1 local match, which is why MIPA will be charging annual membership dues.
MIPA is optional to join, and jurisdictions can join at any time. There is no cost to jurisdictions that are not MIPA members.
Dues are based on jurisdictions’ population, which is determined by the decennial Census counts or annual Census estimates, whichever is most recent. For counties governments, only the population in the unincorporated portions of the county are counted.
The initial membership rate is $0.15 per capita per year for each member jurisdiction. The rate may be adjusted by the MIPA Board of Directors in the future. The annual rates will be communicated to member jurisdictions prior to the start of each fiscal year.
The Partnership Program is anticipated to start April 1, 2022, when there is only one quarter left in jurisdictions’ fiscal years. Accordingly, the inaugural MIPA dues will cover a 15-month period, April 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. The dues are shown in the “MIPA Rate Sheet (FY2023),” linked below.
Dues will be due in two installments. The FY2022 dues will be invoiced on April 1, 2022, and due by April 30, 2022. FY2023 dues will be invoiced on July 1, 2022, and due by July 31, 2022.
MIPA will be governed by a Board of Directors with representation from all member jurisdictions, while day-to-day operations will be overseen by an Executive Committee.
The Board of Directors will have authority over key decisions, such as MIPA’s annual budget, one-time stimulus funds (if they come available), the bylaws, membership dues, and the adoption of the CEDS. The Board of Directors will be comprised of one director per member jurisdiction, one representative of private business from within each county, one representative from the Greater Des Moines Partnership, and one representative each from the Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State University. The Board of Directors will meet annually.
The Executive Committee will provide oversight of day-to-day operations of MIPA, including planning processes and contracts for planning services (if any). The Executive Committee will be comprised of three representatives from within each county, including two public officials and one private representative. The Executive Committee will meet monthly.
Currently, MIPA has an Interim Board of Directors to provide oversight to the organization until it is fully operational and member governments can appoint representatives.
The bylaws, linked below, offer more information on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
The bylaws for MIPA were developed with oversight and approval an interim board of directors. They are subject to revision by future boards of directors.
STEPS TO JOINING MIPA
There are a few steps to joining MIPA:
- Pass a Resolution of Membership. A template resolution is linked below.
- Submit signed resolution to MIPA via email (email@example.com)
Significant timepoints to this process include:
- February 15, 2022 — Deadline to join MIPA this enrollment period.
- April 1, 2022 — Anticipated start state for fully operational MIPA; FY2022 membership dues are due.
- April – June, 2022 — Fourth and only quarter of MIPA FY2022.
- July 1, 2022 — Beginning of MIPA FY2023; FY 2023 membership dues are due.
- December 2022-February 2023 — Enrollment period for MIPA FY2024.
The founding staff of MIPA are available to provide a presentation on MIPA membership to jurisdiction staff, City Councils, or Boards of Supervisors, upon request.
To request a presentation, please contact Gunnar Olson by phone at 515-334-0075 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community leaders from within each county have been actively engaged in the establishment of the MIPA and have had numerous conversations with other stakeholders within their counties. Their contact information is provided here, and they have indicated they are open to answering any questions you might have.
- Boone County — Greg Piklapp (email@example.com)
- Dallas County — Alex Lynch (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Marion County — Carla Eysink (email@example.com)
- Jasper County — Jeff Davidson (JEDCOIowa@gmail.com)
- Polk County — Clyde Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Story County — Brenda Dryer (email@example.com)
- Warren County — Rachel Gocken (firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out to Gunnar Olson at email@example.com or 515-334-0075.